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Sleep Dentistry in Edmonton

Uptown Dental Centre

The quality of your health and life can be negatively impacted by sleep disorders and sleep deprivation, which can lead to decreased work performance, higher accident risk, and mood changes.

While you’re asleep, your body has a chance to recover from daily stress. However, the occurrence of oxygen deprivation and brain arousals during sleep can hinder this process. To determine if you have a sleep disorder, you must undergo a sleep test, as it’s the only reliable method. If your physician or dentist suspects a sleep disorder, they will refer you to a sleep clinic where a sleep specialist will supervise the testing.

What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)?

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a common sleep disorder characterized by repetitive episodes of partial or complete blockage of the upper airway during sleep. These obstructions cause pauses in breathing, leading to decreased oxygen levels, fragmented sleep, and loud snoring. Over time, resulting in:

  • Excessive daytime sleepiness: OSA disrupts sleep, causing fatigue and reduced alertness during the day.
  • Morning headaches: Reduced oxygen levels during sleep can lead to headaches upon waking.
  • Impaired cognitive function: Chronic sleep disruptions can affect memory, concentration, and decision-making abilities.
  • Increased risk of serious health complications: Untreated OSA can contribute to hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, and Type 2 diabetes.

Risk factors include obesity, family history, and anatomical abnormalities. OSA, if untreated, can lead to serious health complications such as hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, and Type 2 diabetes.

How can Dental Sleep Medicine help?

Dental Sleep Medicine, a specialized area of dentistry, focuses on managing sleep-related breathing disorders, like Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), using oral appliance therapy. Patients can expect to see an improvement in their lives in a number of ways:

  1. Better sleep quality: Custom-fit oral appliances, such as mandibular advancement devices, help maintain an open airway by repositioning the lower jaw forward. This reduces airway obstruction, allowing for uninterrupted sleep and improved sleep quality.
  2. Reduced daytime sleepiness: By addressing sleep disruptions, patients often experience reduced daytime sleepiness, leading to increased alertness and overall better daytime functioning.
  3. Enhanced overall health: Effective treatment of OSA can lower the risk of associated health complications, including hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, and Type 2 diabetes, improving the patient’s overall health.
  4. Quieter sleep environment: Oral appliance therapy can significantly reduce snoring, creating a more restful sleep environment for both the patient and their sleep partner.

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OSA Diagnostics at UDC?

In the process of diagnosing and treating sleep-related breathing disorders, such as OSA, your dentist may collaborate with a Board-Certified Sleep Specialist and other medical professionals as necessary, for example your family physician, to ensure a comprehensive and effective use of diagnostics, tools and systems. This interdisciplinary collaboration is crucial for several reasons:

  1. Accurate diagnosis: Sleep specialists help in evaluating and diagnosing sleep disorders, ensuring that the most appropriate treatment plan is developed for each patient.
  2. Comprehensive treatment: By working together, dentists and sleep specialists can create personalized treatment plans that address both the dental and medical aspects of sleep disorders, leading to better patient outcomes.
  3. Ongoing monitoring: Collaboration enables continuous assessment of treatment efficacy and adjustments, ensuring optimal long-term management of sleep disorders.
  4. Patient education and support: A multidisciplinary team provides patients with extensive knowledge and resources, empowering them to better understand and manage their sleep health.
  5. Holistic care: Combining expertise from dental and medical professionals promotes a holistic approach to patient care, addressing not only sleep-related issues but also overall health and well-being.

 

 In addition to a thorough exam and questionnaire, some of the technology we use to assess and diagnose the existence of potential sleep disorders includes the SleepImage System and in-house CBCT 3D imaging.

SleepImage Device

The SleepImage System is a cloud-based Software as a Medical Device solution that enables healthcare professionals to access and collaborate on patient care from any location. Upon completion of a patient’s sleep study, their report becomes available to the medical experts in just a matter of minutes via the cloud. The system enables users to:

  • Assess sleep quality
  • Determine sleep duration
  • Identify sleep disorders
  • Diagnose Obstructive and Central Sleep Apnea
  • Manage sleep disorder treatments
  • Evaluate treatment effectiveness
  • Ensure compliance, ease of use

As a user-friendly wearable device, the SleepImage device collects sleep-related physiological data that is then analyzed by the cloud-based SleepImage System Software. This FDA-cleared medical device offers accuracy on par with polysomnography for diagnosing sleep apnea in children and adults, providing the convenience of a consumer wearable with the reliability of a medical diagnostic tool.

CBCT 3D Imaging

Dental cone-beam computed tomography, or CBCT, is a specialized 3D x-ray technique utilized by dental professionals when standard facial and other x-rays fail to provide adequate details about a patient’s dental health. By employing CBCT technology, dentists can generate 3D images that encompass aspects like soft tissues, bones, teeth, and nerve pathways in a single scan. This technology can be beneficial for identifying and diagnosing sleep disorders, and offers the following benefits:

  • Shorter scan times
  • Exposure to less radiation than most 2D x-rays
  • High level of detail
  • User-friendly
  • 3D display, unlike traditional x-rays
  • Tremendous resolution, high accuracy of details
  • Fewer appointments, we have the technology in-office

Dental Treatment and Management Options for Common Sleep Disorders

ProSomnus - Mandibular Advancement Devices

The ProSomnus device resembles a mouthguard for both the upper and lower jaw, gently positioning your lower jaw forward, maintaining an open airway at the back of your throat. This minimizes the chances of air flow disruption in a partially obstructed airway, which can lead to snoring, and facilitates smoother breathing. This helps reduce snoring and alleviate sleep apnea symptoms by allowing for smoother, uninterrupted breathing during sleep.

To determine if the ProSomnus Mandibular Advancement Device is a suitable solution to your sleep apnea disorder, you’ll need to consult with a dental professional who specializes in sleep dentistry. They will assess your condition and create a custom-fit device tailored to your specific needs. Results may vary among individuals, but many users experience improvements in their sleep apnea symptoms and snoring within weeks of beginning treatment.
ProSomnus - Mandibular Advancement Devices

Vivos Sleep Apnea Treatment

The Vivos® appliance system is designed to address airway obstruction by employing a daytime-nighttime appliance system (DNA) that progressively widens the palate. This creates sufficient space in the mouth and airway for comfortable nighttime breathing. In addition to expanding the palate, the Vivos® system also enlarges the upper jaw and remodels the bones, restructuring the airway without the need for surgery. To achieve the desired outcome, most patients are required to wear their appliances for 10 to 12 hours daily. Once the Vivos® appliances effectively address the root causes of sleep-disordered breathing, nightly use is no longer necessary. Treatment period typically lasts between 9 and 18 months.
Vivos Sleep Apnea Treatment

Dental Arch Expansion Appliances

Dental arch expansion appliances are orthodontic devices that target the correction of narrow dental arches, which can contribute to sleep disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and snoring. These appliances work by gradually widening the dental arch, creating more space in the oral cavity and improving the airflow in the upper airway. When used in conjunction with other treatments, such as continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy or mandibular advancement devices, dental arch expansion appliances can contribute to improved outcomes for patients with sleep disorders. It is crucial to consult with a dental professional or sleep specialist to determine the most appropriate treatment plan based on individual needs and the underlying cause of the sleep disorder. Overall, dental arch expansion appliances can be an effective treatment option for addressing sleep disorders in dental patients, particularly when used as part of a comprehensive and personalized treatment plan.
Dental Arch Expansion Appliances

Myobrace Appliance Therapy

Myobrace Appliance Therapy is an orthodontic treatment approach that focuses on addressing the underlying causes of crooked teeth and poor jaw development, which can contribute to sleep disorders like obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and snoring. The Myobrace system consists of a series of removable intra-oral appliances designed to correct poor oral habits, such as mouth breathing, improper swallowing, and incorrect tongue positioning. The Myobrace appliances work by retraining the muscles of the face, tongue, and throat, promoting proper jaw development and creating more space in the airway. This improved oral posture and muscle function can lead to a reduction in sleep-disordered breathing symptoms. Myobrace Appliance Therapy is particularly effective in children and adolescents, as their facial bones and muscles are still developing and more responsive to change. Early intervention can help prevent the development of sleep disorders and the need for more invasive treatments later in life.
Myobrace Appliance Therapy

Functional Frenuloplasty

Functional Frenuloplasty is a surgical procedure that addresses restrictions caused by a tight or short frenulum, which is the connective tissue that attaches the tongue to the floor of the mouth (lingual frenulum) or the upper lip to the gum (labial frenulum). These restrictions can hinder proper tongue and lip mobility, which can contribute to sleep disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and snoring, as well as other oral health issues. When the lingual frenulum is too tight or short, it can result in a condition known as tongue-tie or ankyloglossia. This restriction can affect the tongue’s ability to maintain proper positioning during sleep, potentially causing the airway to become partially or fully blocked, leading to sleep-disordered breathing. Functional Frenuloplasty aims to release the restricted frenulum, allowing for improved tongue and lip mobility. This surgical procedure involves making precise incisions in the frenulum, followed by suturing and reshaping the tissue to optimize function. In some cases, Functional Frenuloplasty may be combined with myofunctional therapy, which involves targeted exercises to strengthen and retrain the muscles of the tongue, lips, and throat.
Functional Frenuloplasty

Myofunctional Therapy

Myofunctional therapy is a non-invasive treatment approach that focuses on retraining and strengthening the muscles of the face, tongue, and throat to improve their function and promote proper oral posture. This therapy can be beneficial in addressing sleep disorders, such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and snoring, as it targets the root causes of airway obstructions and sleep-disordered breathing. Sleep disorders in dental patients may be linked to improper tongue positioning, mouth breathing, or weak muscles in the oral and pharyngeal regions, which can lead to airway collapse or obstruction during sleep. Myofunctional therapy involves a series of targeted exercises and techniques that help patients develop proper swallowing patterns, maintain correct tongue posture at rest and during sleep, transition from mouth breathing to nasal breathing, and strengthen and coordinate the muscles of the face, tongue, and throat. Myofunctional therapy is a valuable treatment option for addressing sleep disorders in dental patients by promoting proper oral posture, strengthening oral and pharyngeal muscles, and improving airway function, leading to better sleep quality and daytime functioning.
Myofunctional Therapy

Collaboration with Medical Specialists

The dentist may collaborate with other medical specialists to diagnose, assess, and treat sleep disorders to ensure a comprehensive and accurate evaluation of your condition. Sleep disorders often involve multiple factors, such as airway obstruction, muscle function, and systemic health, which require a multidisciplinary approach for effective treatment. Collaboration between dental professionals, sleep specialists, and other healthcare providers helps create a personalized treatment plan that addresses the specific needs and underlying causes of your sleep disorder. This team-based approach allows for the sharing of expertise, leading to better patient outcomes, more efficient treatment, and improved overall health. Collaboration between your dentist and other medical specialists can be crucial for a comprehensive understanding and effective management of sleep disorders.

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